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Nutrition and Health (including climate and ecological aspects)

Dietary intake of beans and risk of disabling dementia: The Circulatory Risk in Communities Study (CIRCS)



To examine whether bean intake (including soybeans) among Japanese adults is associated with risk of disabling dementia severe enough to require care under the national insurance system.


This cohort study involved 3739 individuals aged 40 to 64 years. The participants were categorized into five groups based on their dietary bean intake estimated by a 24h dietary recall. Hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals of disabling dementia were estimated using Cox proportional hazard models adjusted for potential confounding factors (smoking, drinking, and intakes of energy and fish).


During the 59,681 person-year follow-up, 670 cases of disabling dementia were observed. A weak inverse association between bean intake and risk of disabling dementia was found; the multivariable hazard ratios (95% CIs) were 0.79 (0.62–1.00), 0.80 (0.63–1.01), 0.84 (0.67–1.06), and 0.78 (0.62–0.99) for the four groups with higher bean intake, respectively, compared with the lowest group (P for trend = 0.21). A significant inverse association was observed for dementia without a history of stroke; for the four groups with higher bean intake the multivariable hazard ratios were 0.81 (0.61–1.08), 0.70 (0.52–0.95), 0.71 (0.52–0.95), and 0.69 (0.51–0.92), respectively, (P for trend = 0.03). No such association was observed for dementia with history of stroke. The group with increased natto intake were inversely associated with risk of disabling dementia (P for trend = 0.003), but tofu intake was not (P for trend = 0.19).


Bean intake was inversely associated with risk of disabling dementia in those without a history of stroke.

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Fig. 1: The total number of participants was 3739: 1319 in Ikawa, 725 in Minami-Takayasu, 1695 in Kyowa.

Data availability

The datasets generated during and/or analyzed during the current study are not publicly available but are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request and with the permission of the CIRCS committee.


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The authors thank the healthcare staff of the Ikawa, Minami-Takayasu, and Kyowa communities. The full list of CIRCS investigators is presented in ref. [13]. The authors would also like to thank Thomas Mayers of the Medical English Communications Center, University of Tsukuba, for language revision.


This study was partly supported by Health and Labour Science Research Grants for Dementia (grant numbers: H21-Ninchisho-Wakate-007 and H24-Ninchisho-Wakate-003) from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan; JSPS KAKENHI grant numbers 26253043, 17H04121, 18K10097 and 21H03194; Japan FULLHAPP; and the Osaka University International Joint Research Promotion Programme with University College London.

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Conception and design of the study: RK, KY, and H Iso. Analysis of data: RK. Drafting the article: RK, KY, and H Iso; Critical revision of paper: KM, CO, MT, AI, MH, YS, IM, MU, H Imano, EJB, TS, TO, AK, and MK. All authors contributed to the article and have approved the submission of the article for publication.

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Correspondence to Kazumasa Yamagishi.

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Kishida, R., Yamagishi, K., Maruyama, K. et al. Dietary intake of beans and risk of disabling dementia: The Circulatory Risk in Communities Study (CIRCS). Eur J Clin Nutr (2022).

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